The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has alleged that the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress are gathering what it called lies against Atiku Abubakar.
Already, the PDP alleged that both the Presidency and the ruling party had hired some unnamed persons to assassinate the character of Atiku, who is the presidential candidate of the former ruling party.
It said that the action of the Presidency and the APC “is a sign of defeat.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke at a press briefing, in Abuja, on Thursday, specifically accused the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as well as other unnamed officials of the Presidency, of making deliberate efforts to impugn on the character of Atiku.
He said, “Since the successful conduct of our Presidential primary and the popular emergence of Atiku Abubakar, the Buhari Presidency and the APC have become intimidated, one into panic mode and ignobly resorted to trading on rumour and spurious allegations, having failed in their evil machination to scuttle our Presidential primary ab initio.
“The PDP is aware of how the intimidated Buhari Presidency has unleashed its officials, spin doctors and hack writers with billions of naira, siphoned from our national treasury, to fabricate lies, spurious allegations and smear campaign against our presidential candidate.
“While it is understandable that President Muhammadu Buhari is discomfited and afraid to face a popular candidate in any elections due to his incompetence, for which Nigerians earnestly seek his replacement, engaging in a smear campaign, as a means of survival, is completely reprehensible and cowardly.”
Ologbondiyan added that President Buhari and the APC, should not attempt to confuse personal economic prosperity that came from hard work, as in the case of Atiku, with corrupt enrichment.
He alleged that because President Buhari allegedly failed in leading a successful personal economic life “does not mean that others cannot succeed without being corrupt.”
Ologbondiyan said that the minister failed to note that Nigerians were aware that, while Atiku had never been indicted for corruption or facing any corruption charge, “President Buhari is now overburdened by indictments and allegations of humongous corruption, for which he has failed to provide explanations.”
He said that since the minister was talking about the era of corruption, he should also speak up on the alleged leaked memo which he said detailed the stealing of N9tn through underhand oil contract at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Petroleum, under President Buhari’s direct supervision.
Tell Nigerians why you refused to try your associates for corruption, Atiku challenges Buhari
Meanwhile, Atiku has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to explain to Nigerians why he refused to arrest and try any of his (President’s) associates or officials for corrupting.
He also challenged the President to name one project he initiated, completed and inaugurated since he assumed office more than three years ago.
Atiku, in a statement released by his Media Office in Abuja, asked the President’s media office to provide answers to some questions which he said were bothering the minds of Nigerians.
The statement said, “In order to give Nigerians the answers they want, the president must name one project initiated, started and completed in the last three years by the Buhari administration.
“He should also name one youth in President Buhari’s cabinet, name one campaign promise President Buhari has kept.
“Name one Southerner heading a National Intelligence Agency under Buhari and name one terrorist arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned by the Buhari administration.”